Brown makes good impression in first Bucs’ workout
Antonio Brown made a good first impression on Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians, who gushed over the wideout’s first workout with the team on Wednesday.
“He looks fantastic. I think we had really good conversations today, he and I,” Arians said Wednesday, the initial day Brown could enter the facility after going through COVID-19 protocols. “He was in the meetings and everything. And he’s working with Anthony Piroli and the strength staff. He looks in great shape. Yeah, ready to go next week.”
Next week would mean the Nov. 8 contest against the New Orleans Saints. Brown, who officially became a member of the team on Monday, is finishing up an eight-game suspension this week due to multiple violations of the NFL’s personal conduct policy and he isn’t yet allowed to practice with the team until the disciplinary action is over.
But Arians liked what he heard in his chat with Brown and expects to see him on the field with his teammates soon.
“He and I had a good conversation this morning,” Arians said. “He’ll be ready to go next week and in good shape.”
Brown is trying to revive his career after being a seven-time Pro Bowl selection and four-time All-Pro choice during nine seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
After an acrimonious split with the Steelers, he had brief flings with the then-Oakland Raiders and New England Patriots in 2019. He played in one game with New England before being released due to allegations of sexual assault and sending intimidating text messages to an accuser. Those allegations led to an NFL investigation.
Brown ranks third among active players in receptions (841) and is fourth in receiving yards (11,263) and touchdown catches (75).
Brown’s production has never been questioned but his attitude has been an issue. Arians, though, isn’t expecting any problems and believes the 32-year-old will follow all the COVID-19 protocols.
“He wants to play. If you want to play, you’ve got to do it,” Arians said. “In our conversation today, it’s ‘Go to football practice, go to work, come home and go back to work.’ He’s all in. I don’t think we’ll have any problems with those things.”
Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady was teammates with Brown in New England for less than two weeks in 2019 and has pledged his support. He said he has tried to leave a positive impact on Brown.
“I had a lot of people support me over the years, realizing that I was far from where I needed to be and they would guide me and provide me with the help that I needed as a player to reach my potential,” Brady said. “… “You just try your best every day, realizing that a lot of people weren’t born with the same advantages that I’ve had growing up, they weren’t born with the same background or support systems that I had. I think that when you recognize that and bring that to relationships, all you can do is the best you can do.
“For me, I think that’s something I really enjoy still about playing football, is that I probably have more perspective than just about every player in the league right now, based on my years of experience and what I’ve seen. I want to see other guys succeed. And I think a lot of joy in my experience comes from seeing other people be their best and seeing people succeed in ways that can set their family up. I think that’s a really important aspect of football for me.”
Brown’s arrival comes as receiver Chris Godwin will miss Monday’s game against the New York Giants due to a broken left index finger. It currently is unknown if Godwin will be available against New Orleans.
Godwin, 24, has 25 catches for 279 yards and two touchdowns in four games this season. He has missed three others due to a concussion and a hamstring injury.
–Field Level Media